Last week, I got to experience my own personal Spring Break in Memphis. I drove south, spent time in 70 degree weather, and soaked up time with my best friend, Chels. We spent time in a park, watched lots of March Madness, and made a pizza.
The pizza making experience was meaningful for several reasons:
1. We wanted to make a pizza together over Christmas break and that didn’t happen.
2. I’m on a pretty crazy diet right now, so we made the crust out of cauliflower and our own sauce without all the added sugar. She also discovered that dairy free cheese exists at Whole Foods!
3. Chels researched how I could still eat pizza, and texted me updates before I got to Memphis about how she combined many different recipes.
4. I have an auto-immune disease and Chels has cancer. We both have such limited energy, so making a pizza was our big event of the day, even our week.
And yet, even this “big event of the week” wasn’t glamorous. It was very everyday and mundane. Making the pizza took a long time and I was hungry and grumpy, trying to enjoy the process, even though all I kept seeing was more and more dishes and less and less energy.
But we did it! And as we sat down to watch our beloved Wisconsin Badgers’ debut game in the tournament, I just looked at my friend and was thankful. I have a friend who encourages me to be faithful in the mundane, by her sheer existence, and how she fights for her very life. And I’m doubly blessed because she looks at me, and sees someone who is brave, rather than someone who has a “less severe illness.” Our friendship is marked by good/hard conversations, park walks, basketball games, lingering meals, goofy texts, repeated “classic” questions, and our love of T-shirts and sweatpants.
Our friendship has been cultivated in the slowness, in our rest. Even as long hours of rest are a necessity and we mourn, for we are still in our 20’s and desire to be healthy and vibrant. But a really strong love has been built.
Do we wish our lives were different? Yes, absolutely.
Would we sacrifice our friendship to be someone different? No.
We’ve learned to grieve and do the difficult every day together, and 7 hours apart.
And we’ve learned to be glad in the small pizza celebrations.
What are you celebrating with friends right now?